Marijuana edibles are consumable goods made with cannabis flowers or concentrates. The technological progress and advances in weed culinary arts have made it possible to achieve high-quality cannabis-infused foods and beverages that are both potent and don’t necessarily overpower the taste of your dishes with the distinct aromas and flavors of weed.
Consuming marijuana edibles brings some obvious benefits. First, users can experience the effects of cannabis with a completely smoke-free method. Moreover, eating cannabis is easy and intuitive, not to mention that medical users can experience longer-lasting relief.
The disadvantage of eating cannabis edibles is that they offer lower bioavailability than other routes of administration. In other words, they need to pass through the digestive system before THC and CBD enter the bloodstream, which may be as quickly as 20 minutes and as slowly as 3 hours. This makes dosing more difficult than with smoked or vaporized weed.
Speaking of which, this article will teach you how to dose and ingest marijuana edibles properly to avoid side effects.
Ready to take a lesson?
How Long Does It Take for the Edibles to Kick In?
Before the THC from edibles reaches your system, it has to be metabolized in the liver into a compound called 11-hydroxy-THC. This form is more potent than THC and exhibits a longer half-life. It also has remarkable sedating properties, which is why people consuming edibles describe the high as heavy and longer-lasting than with other formats.
As mentioned, edibles may need anywhere between 20 minutes and 3 hours to kick in, although most users experience the first effects within 40 minutes after ingestion.
How Long Do Edibles Stay In Your System?
Edibles are absorbed through the digestive tract, hence the delayed onset compared to vapes or sublingual products. This form of cannabis also provides long-lasting effects, from 4–6 hours, although we have stories about people visiting emergency rooms and being high off edibles after 8 hours.
What is a Dose/Serving?
The dose of an edible should be measured out differently than with marijuana flower or concentrate. The potency of edibles is expressed in the milligrams of cannabinoids per product and per serving, instead of stating the percentage of cannabinoid strength.
A marijuana edible will typically feature both the milligrams of THC and CBD per serving on the package, plus the total potency of the entire product. For example, a bag of marijuana gummies has 750 mg of THC and the entire container holds 30 pieces. This means that each piece comes with 25 mg of THC and if your desired dose is 50 mg, you just take 2 gummies and you’re all set.
How Do You Find the Right Dose?
Everybody reacts differently to cannabinoids, so it’s difficult to gauge the amount that would produce similar effects in each individual. The effective (and safe) dose of marijuana edibles depends on the user’s weight, age, metabolism, unique body chemistry, and their tolerance to THC.
Nevertheless, experts suggest that beginners should start with an initial dose of 5 mg THC then wait 24 hours to assess the effects. Increase the dose by 2.5 or 5 mg every day until you get to your limits. Once there, you’ll know the potency range that provides you with the desired effects without any distress.
Marijuana Edibles Dosing Chart
Use this dosing chart to get yourself started with marijuana edibles:
|THC potency per dose||Range of effects||Who is it for?|
|1 – 2.5 mg THC||Mild relief from stress, anxiety, pain, inflammation, and other symptoms;|
Enhanced focus and creativity.
|2.5 – 15 mg THC||Medium symptom relief;|
|Patients with chronic symptoms;|
Users with developed tolerances;
Experienced consumers looking for sleep aid.
|15 – 30 mg THC||Strong euphoria;|
Side effects in novice consumers;
Impaired coordination and altered perception.
|Users who are resistant to the effects of cannabinoids;|
People with a high tolerance to THC.
|30 – 50 mg THC||Intense euphoria in unaccustomed consumers;|
Likely to alter perception and impair coordination.
Chronic pain sufferers;
People with significant THC tolerance.
|50 – 100 mg THC||Side effects such as rapid heart rate, anxiety, and nausea;|
Extremely impaired coordination and altered perception.
|For heavy marijuana consumers only;|
Patients with cancer, severe inflammatory diseases or conditions that are resistant to lower doses.
How Edibles Produce Their Effects
Edibles are ingested orally, so they enter the body through the oral tract and are absorbed in the gut. The absorbed compounds then travel to the liver where they’re metabolized. From there, THC and its metabolites circulate in the blood and travel to the brain. That’s where it all begins.
How Are Edibles Made?
If you want to become an expert at predicting the effects of edibles, it’s paramount to understand how they’re made. The ingredients and the methods used for making edibles can affect the end product, onset time, duration, and high.
Marijuana edibles available for sale are made with cannabis distillate, pure cannabinoid crystals, hashish, or other ingredients that are infused into an edible using a cooking fat such as butter, olive oil, or coconut oil.
It’s important to know what strain or concentrate was used to create your edibles because it greatly affects their potency and profile of effects.
Can I Get High from just Eating Weed?
Not really, no.
Raw cannabis contains THCA, which is an acidic — and inactive — form of THC. The human body cannot convert THCA to THC, so if you try to eat raw buds, you’re going to end up pretty disappointed.
In order to produce its effects, marijuana has to be decarboxylated (heated) to remove the extra carbon link from THCA and activate it.
Final Thoughts on Dosing Marijuana Edibles
Dosing marijuana edibles is tricky, especially if you’re consuming them for the first time. Sometimes, the effects might not be there as quickly as you want them to appear, so you take another infused brownie — and bang! — you’re way beyond the normal understanding of “stoned.”
It’s best to start low and gradually increase the dosage until you find the sweet spot. Just make sure you wait those 40 minutes to allow your edibles to kick in. Once you figure out the effective dosage, you can either buy some delicious cannabis treats online or make some weed-infused cooking oil and cook your own batch!
What’s your relationship status with marijuana edibles? Do you have any dosing trips to share with less experienced consumers?